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This article was originally published in International

What does it mean to be a young creative? Is it having a popular Instagram account with thousands of followers? Is it having an instantly recognizable Tumblr username? Is it having a production credit on a Yeezy album? The lines between these definitions are constantly blurred, but we are always on the lookout for the best of the next generation, sourcing those who are making waves in the mainstream while still rooted in the underground. And this search begins with the future of fashion.

Nao Serati, a 24-year-old emerging designer from Johannesburg, is quickly establishing a name for themselves with their delightfully daring designs. Their design aesthetic is a unique blend of street fashion, high fashion, gender-fluid elements, and textured ready-to-wear styles. Statement collars, metallic pinks, and abstract adaptations are all commonplace in their creations. While their designs may not fit the mold of your average outfit of the day (OOTD), they are set to redefine fashion in the not too distant future.

With social commentary at its foundation, Serati's work explores the margins of gender and sexuality. These are themes that Serati has come to explore through natural progression and evolution. Serati believes that gender is taken too seriously, especially among African men who tend to hide their thoughts and sexual desires behind gender norms. This thought process surrounding their work has led to the manifestation of a gender-fluid collection that defies norms and bids adieu to outdated stereotypes. It emphasizes the need to live up to the new wave cliche, the #DoYou attitude.

The reaction to Serati's work has been nothing short of colossal. Their designs have caught the attention of celebrities, gracing the covers of fashion magazines and gaining recognition on the runway during SA Fashion Week. This overwhelming response has helped Serati in achieving their goal of starting conversations and creating a metaphorical suit of armor for people. Serati hopes that when individuals dress up in their designs, they feel empowered and ready to take on the world. They want people to not just exist, but truly live.

Young and creative


The impact of Serati's work goes beyond the realm of fashion. Through their designs and artistic expression, they are contributing to a larger social conversation about gender and sexuality. By challenging societal norms and encouraging individuals to embrace their true selves, Serati is helping to create a more inclusive and accepting society. Their work serves as a reminder that fashion can be a powerful tool for self-expression and a catalyst for change.

Nao Serati is not just shaping the future of fashion, but also inspiring a generation to embrace their own uniqueness and celebrate the beauty of diversity. Their boundary-pushing designs and fearless approach to self-expression inspire individuals to break free from the constraints of traditional expectations and live authentically. Serati's work is a testament to the fact that fashion can be a form of empowerment, allowing individuals to express their true selves and feel confident in their own skin.

So, if you're tired of conforming to the high-street fashion trends and seeking something unique and empowering, Nao Serati is the designer to watch. Their designs not only make a bold fashion statement but also contribute to a larger social dialogue. They remind us that fashion is not just about what we wear, but also about how we express ourselves and challenge societal norms. Nao Serati is a true trailblazer in the fashion industry, inspiring others to embrace their individuality and live life on their own terms.

Young and creative Nao Serati
Words - Ryan Cahill
Images - Nao Serati